WWE: There will never be another Bobby Heenan

There will never be anyone else quite like Bobby Heenan

I wasn’t prepared to do this today. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’d have been prepared to write an “in memoriam” of Bobby Heenan a couple of years down the road either.

If we’re being honest, we have been fearing the worst for years. It says something about a man, who fights through adversity, never giving up to forces greater than himself, far beyond his understanding, depleting him of the power and strength to live a normal life.

But “The Brain” wasn’t like anybody else. No matter what he did – where he decided to ply his trade, Bobby Heenan was far superior to us humanoids. With words that were both – poignant and utterly demeaning, Bobby stole our hearts. And now, he finds himself once again sitting next to Monsoon beyond the pearly gates, where the two best friends reunite.

Bobby Heenan was a big part of what made WWE tick in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In a managerial role, Heenan was gold; professional wrestling companies today can only dream of finding a talent, that could elicit the kind of reaction Heenan did on a nightly basis. Behind the curtains, Bobby Heenan was a man remarkable for his ideas, and his wrestling mind. But once he transitioned to his role behind the commentary desk, millions of fans realised how truly amazing he really was.

No matter how much Heenan did for us fans, or the wrestling business, it feels like we have been robbed of the epilogue of this story. If a man’s legacy is defined by the lives he has touched, his impact on the mortal realm, and the stories he has left behind, Bobby Heenan is undoubtedly the greatest ever in the professional wrestling business.

Bobby Heenan’s true genius: A man of thousand words

Whether he was berating the Hart Family, or siding with the dastardly, Heenan always knew how to get under the skins of the faces and the fans. With a penchant for irking people, Bobby Heenan was, if there ever was one, the perfect heel.

After his wrestling days were cut short due to a neck injury, Heenan was brought to the WWE by Vince McMahon, who understood Heenan’s value as a mouthpiece. Soon, Bobby became one of the most despised characters, recruiting top heels to his “Family”. While it is easy for the managers to forget that their main job is to bring attention to the wrestlers, Heenan ensured that with his verbiage, and knack for getting on people’s nerves, he promoted his on – screen clients.

Bobby Heenan “The Weasel” was a villainous, deceitful character, but he couldn’t be more opposite from Heenan the person. No matter who you talk to in the wrestling business, who’ve had the chance to interact with Bobby, they have nothing but respect and adulation for one of the most cherished personalities in the business.

As a colour commentator, Heenan was the perfect partner for Gorilla Monsoon. With their unique personalities, and the camaraderie they share, Monsoon and Heenan soon became arguably the greatest announcing pair in wrestling history. Every good protagonist needs a good antagonist, and the chemistry between the two icons added a unique dimension to WWE’s product.

A legacy to be cherished: Remembering The Brain

It isn’t difficult to turn back the pages, and reminisce about Heenan’s contributions to the wrestling business. You don’t have to dig deep to learn about some of his stories, and how much people loved being in his company.

But how do we, as fans of this gifted and unique talent, remember him? There are very few people that could radiate genuine kindness and warmth through the TV screens. What separates Heenan from everyone else, is his ability to reach out and tug at the heartstrings of the fans – the kind of tangible aura that very few – if any, possess in the business today.

Bobby Heenan knew that he was facing an uphill battle. Fighting against one enemy is hard enough, but Bobby was fighting a battle that he knew would eventually catch up to him. However, his outlook on life was remarkable; against all odds, even when his health was deteriorating rapidly, Heenan still had the same sense of humour that made him a living legend.

I, for one, will remember Heenan for that. Thrown into the depths of the abyss, facing insurmountable odds – all while staring death in the face, Heenan did not forget to smile. In typical Heenan fashion, Bobby refused to lie down and surrender.

Heenan never really stopped being himself.

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